As a magazine and book editor, I’ve often hissed “show don’t tell!” at my writers. Because I’m a technologically and time-challenged hypocrite who deserves to be smacked with a tube sock full of pennies, I haven’t done much showing the past couple of posts that deal with racialized stereotypes in Precious.
So below, (as we say in the setup of magazine service pieces) two images and explanatory text that I’ve swiped borrowed from one of my favorites, the website of The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. They come from a 2002 exploration of the Jezebel stereotype written by Dr. David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology.
“In the 1964 presidential election between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, Johnson used the political slogan, “All the way with LBJ.” A mid-1960s license plate shows a caricatured Black woman, pregnant, with these words, “Ah went all de way wib LBJ.” Johnson received overwhelming support from Black voters. The image on the license plate, which also appeared on posters and smaller prints, insults Blacks generally, Black Democrats, and Black women.”
“Another postcard (circa 1950s) shows a Black girl, approximately eight years old, standing in a watermelon patch. She has a protruding stomach. The caption reads: “Oh-I is Not!…It Must Be Sumthin’ I Et!!” Her exposed right shoulder and the churlish grin suggest that the protruding stomach resulted from a sexual experience, not overeating. The portrayal of this prepubescent girl as pregnant suggests that Black females are sexually active and sexually irresponsible even as small children.”
Please read the whole essay using the above link.
Peace, power, joy.